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Illuminate x Durham Conference: An eye-opening experience!

Hey everyone! My name is Riya Ingale and I'm currently a Grade 11 student attending Sir Wilfrid Laurier CI. Today, I had the wonderful opportunity of participating in the Illuminate x Durham's regional conference! Here are some of my thoughts highlighting what I learned about today!

Today was a very eye-opening day with lots of valuable knowledge provided to us by our keynote speakers. They gave us an insight into their hard-working and rewarding lives. Ilona Dougherty, who was our first keynote speaker talked about how much we as youth underestimate our powerful abilities to come up with solutions to complex problems. How we as youth have so much to contribute to society. One phrase that Ms.Dougherty mentioned in her presentation that really stood out was when she said "start looking at experiences as opportunities instead of learning experiences". I know for myself and many others as well, that this one phrase has changed our perspectives/mindset for the better.

Another speaker I really enjoyed listening to was Mackenzie Clark who was a Software Engineer. She talked about Imposter Syndrome which caught my eye as I did not have any background knowledge as to what it was and was very curious about it. She taught us that Imposter Syndrome is the feeling that you are not actually qualified for the success you have or the work you are doing. Unfortunately, there are many people out there that experience Imposter Syndrome but luckily, there are ways to overcome it such as to stop bringing yourself down and making you feel bad about yourself. Start thinking more about your values and not your perfection (something that I will now live by!) and finally while you're at it, make yourself a pump-up playlist!

I also really liked listening to the different teams present their case studies as it made me see the different ideas and perspectives the team members brought together and presented successfully to the judges. I loved how everyone in the breakout rooms was very supportive of one another throughout all the presentations.

In conclusion, I am very glad that I had the chance to participate in this eye-opening experience as it gave me an insight on how to be a more successful person moving forward with my professional career!


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